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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Psalms 130

Verse 1


This most precious psalm contains the deep breathings of the soul under a sense of sin; the holy triumphs of the soul in the view of the propitiary, the redemption by Jesus: and the earnest recommendation of a soul that, having found mercy himself, holds forth encouragement to others.

A Song of Degrees.

Verses 1-2

Deep calleth unto deep, saith one of old. And when a poor brokenhearted sinner, from, the depths of sin, crieth to the depths of divine mercy, sweet is that frame of soul, and sure to be beard. For it is God the Holy Ghost Which convinceth of sin. It is the same almighty Teacher who puts the cry in the heart to seek for mercy. And he that thus leads to the way, leads to the end; and both point to Christ, and bring to Christ, with an assurance of salvation. Numerous are the examples of this kind in the word of God. The Psalmist speaks of the horrible pit out of which he was brought, Psalms 40:1-3 ; the Prophet Jeremiah cried from the dungeon, Jeremiah 38:6 . And as our Lord declared this state of Jonah to be typical, may we not make application of it, and say that the people of Jesus, resting in hope of the glorious resurrection, by reason of their oneness with his body as the first fruits, may now be supposed to cry from under the altar, How long, O Lord, holy and true? Revelation 6:9-10 .

Verse 3

I beg the Reader to take notice of the different Printing of the word Lord in this verse; the former is JAH, the latter is Adonai. For particulars respecting the difference of the two names, I refer the Reader to what was offered in the Comment on Psalms 110:0 . And in addition to what is there said, I request the Reader to remark with me the great earnestness of soul which is here manifested, when crying to be heard, and deprecating divine displeasure against iniquities, the soul lays hold in so short a compass of both those glorious names.

Verse 4

I do not know in the whole volume of the Old Testament a verse more strongly marked with faith in Christ, or more immediately directed to the great assurances of redemption by Him, than this most beautiful one. For as Christ is the propitiatory, and the propitiation which Jehovah hath set forth, the language which this verse breathes, is the direct answer of the soul to God's declaration. Jehovah saith, I have given him for a covenant of the people! Behold my servant, whom uphold! To which the poor sinner, with full assurance of faith, replies. There is forgiveness; there is the propitiation with thee, which thou hast set forth; there is Jesus thy dear and ever blessed Son, that thou mayest be feared, not a fear of bondage, but of love, fearing to offend. Let the Reader ponder over this verse, and repeatedly meditate upon the blessed things contained in it. Let him consult those scriptures which explain it; and may the Lord give him to enter into the full enjoyment of all its blessed truths. Compare Exo_25:8-9; Exo_25:21-22 with Hebrews 9:5-12 ; Romans 3:25 ; 1 John 2:2 ; Isaiah 42:1-7 .

Verses 5-6

How very beautiful in language, as well as delightful in doctrine, are these expressions! When a soul looking by faith to the man at God's right hand, whom the Lord hath set forth as a propitiation through faith in his blood; he waits with earnest, but patient expectation. He that believeth (saith the Prophet) shall not make haste, Isaiah 28:15 . He need not; for in believing he stayeth upon God's Christ, he knows that the mercy is sure; and therefore he waits the Lord's time for bestowing it. He that prepared the mercy, is preparing the heart for the proper reception of it. In believing this, he already by faith enjoys it; and therefore cries out, I look for the Lord: my soul doth wait; but while I wait, his word is my warrant, my security, my sure confidence. Oh! blessed frame! Reader, may the Lord give it to you, to me, and to all his people. Lord! increase our faith! The figures and similitudes in this verse, to show how the soul of a true believer waits, are uncommonly beautiful and expressive. What is it to wait for the morning? Let those speak who lie in agonies of pain through a long night, or those who sit up in the dying chamber of a dear departing friend; or those who travelling in a dark dreary night, are hardly conscious of their way. Such cases as these may afford some idea, of a soul in darkness, until Jesus makes it light: waiting for the first dawn of mercy: longing to hear that voice, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee. My soul, I would press the thought upon thee; dost thou so wait for Jesus, and for the renewings of his love?

Verses 7-8

We may consider these blessed words in a double sense. First, as the encouragement which one poor sinner may be supposed to give to others, who having experienced divine mercy himself, goes forth and proclaims it abroad. It is as if he had said, "Let Israel hope, let every poor sinner, in whose heart God the Spirit hath put a concern for his salvation, hope; and where a cry to God to obtain it in Christ is put into the soul, let everyone of this description hope; for Jesus is in heaven: Jesus the propitiation, whom God hath set forth, is there. I have found redemption in his blood, and I have found it plenteous redemption indeed to my soul: and therefore let none despond, let not the greatest sinner doubt; for I, the chief of sinners, have experienced it. Let Israel hope in the Lord." But if we consider it in another sense, as the precept of God himself, the words will he equally sweet. Christ is thus proclaimed as the One all-sufficient ordinance of heaven. It is of Jehovah's own providing; mercy is with him; Christ our passover, sacrificed for us, is with him; and it is Jehovah himself that speaks thus to a poor sinner, Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom, Job 33:24 . So that there is Jesus, the promised mercy, the first born in the womb of mercy, yea, the very mercy of mercies; He, the Lord our righteousness is with Jehovah, the sinner's surety and ransom. And this redemption in his blood, is full redemption, an all-sufficient redemption, plenteous redemption! And He shall redeem Israel from all his sins, not from one only, or ten, or ten thousand, but all. Hence his name is J ESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins.

Verse 8


MY soul! hast thou been brought by the Holy Ghost into such views of thy fallen, ruined, and undone state, as to behold thyself in the depths of sin? And hast thou from thence sent forth the cry of thy soul for pardon, mercy, and peace, through the blood of the cross? And hath thine eye been opened by the same almighty Spirit, to behold Jesus the mercy promised, the propitiation, which God hath set forth for the salvation of sinners? Dust thou know Jesus indeed as the Father's gift, and that there is salvation in no other, neither is there any other name under heaven given among men, whereby thou mightest be saved? Look up, my soul, and with an eye of faith, even from the deep of sin, cry to the deep of mercy! See! behold! Jesus is with the Father, the advocate, the propitiation, the full ransom for sin! Behold him still wearing the vesture dipped in blood, as if to say, look at these marks, and Know that my blood and righteousness are of eternal efficacy! And under such blessed assurances do thou tell thy God and Father, what thy God and Father hath first told thee, that there is mercy, there is Jesus, his dear and ever blessed Son with him, so that thy redemption is secured. And do thou, my soul, proclaim abroad the glorious tidings, that other poor sinners may also come and find Jesus the mercy promised. Go forth and say, as one of old did, This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And blessed Lord! cause me to wait for thee, to long for thee, and to be always found watching for thy gracious visits, more than they that wait for the morning, or the thirsty earth for the falling showers! Come, Lord, and refresh my longing soul, and be thou to me all I need, and all I can desire; wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that all my glorying may be in thee, O Lord!

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 130". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.